‘One shot, one kill’ philosophy won’t change, says Trinidad top cop

‘One shot, one kill’ philosophy won’t change, says Trinidad top cop
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (CMC Photo)
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (CMC Photo)

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith is chal­leng­ing any­one who dis­agrees with his ‘one shot, one kill’ phi­los­o­phy for po­lice of­fi­cers in life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tions to re­port him to the po­lice.

Grif­fith on Thursday de­fend­ed his con­tro­ver­sial mantra, which he in­sists co­in­cides with the of­fi­cial T&T Po­lice Ser­vice’s ‘use of force’ pol­i­cy.

“I am sor­ry but in lo­cal par­lance, ‘who vex, loss,’” Grif­fith told Guardian Me­dia by tele­phone yes­ter­day, as he dou­bled down on his crit­i­cism of Fix­in’ T&T pres­i­dent Kirk Wait­he.

Wait­he has de­scribed the ‘one shot, one kill’ pol­i­cy as ‘dan­ger­ous.’

“Kirk Wait­he has prob­a­bly nev­er held a wa­ter gun in his life,” he quipped.

“You (Wait­he) have the au­dac­i­ty to ques­tion my ethics and my type of lead­er­ship? Well, I am sor­ry, it is not chang­ing, and if Kirk Wait­he or any­one has an is­sue with it and they feel I am break­ing the law, let them re­port it to the po­lice.”

He added, “The TTPS is un­der fire, my of­fi­cers are un­der fire on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and pre­vi­ous­ly they were back­ing off be­cause they did not know if they were go­ing to get the sup­port from the hi­er­ar­chy. I as the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice, I am giv­ing full sup­port to any po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Grif­fith in­sist­ed that most of the gen­er­al pub­lic en­dors­es his sup­port for of­fi­cers to use lethal force when they face gun­fire.

“It is not a gen­er­al con­cern. Kirk Wait­he is the on­ly per­son who has been say­ing it and you all (the me­dia) have been feed­ing it and giv­ing him fod­der,” Grif­fith said.

He al­so re­it­er­at­ed his com­mit­ment to equip­ping po­lice of­fi­cers with a range of non-lethal weapons, in­clud­ing ba­tons, pep­per spray, tasers and rub­ber bul­lets.

The TTPS’ Use of Force Pol­i­cy, pub­lished in May 2011, says an of­fi­cer can use dead­ly force “when the of­fi­cer rea­son­ably be­lieves such ac­tion is im­me­di­ate­ly nec­es­sary to pro­tect him­self or oth­ers from im­mi­nent dan­ger of death or griev­ous bod­i­ly harm.” It al­so says an of­fi­cer is un­der no oblig­a­tion to re­treat or de­sist when he or she en­coun­ters re­sis­tance, “un­less cir­cum­stances ex­ist which would make re­treat­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.”

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young al­so threw his sup­port be­hind Grif­fith’s pol­i­cy on Thurs­day, say­ing of­fi­cers had the right to de­fend them­selves if they end­ed up in a gun bat­tle. How­ev­er, he as­sert­ed that of­fi­cers in po­lice-in­volved killing must obey the laws in do­ing so.


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  1. Stark, Sheer, n Utter Nonsense.... Sir, I professionally call for Ur Immediate Resignation... As per The Legacy of President Obama n His Attorney General, Eric Holder... n Closer to Home... As per The Legacy of Former Prime Minister of St. Lucia, The Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony... n As per Myself... The Efficacist... Ur 'One Shot-One Kill" Approach is Un-Constitutional, Un-Caribbean, n Un-Wise... To All Police Officers:... Please Be Professional At All Times.... Please Shoot As Many Times As Necessary To Protect Life, including Ur Own... Please Operate Professionally- That Is: Obey n Preserve Law n Order At All Times As U All Battle Crime... Criminals Stop The Crime - Already... Caribbean-People-Efficacy... God Bless Us All...!!!


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